Coming Up: An interview with the Midwest’s new freestyle ski phenom, Chris Laker

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 9, 2010 12:16 pm

 

Full Name: Christopher Laker

Nickname(s): Chris and Robot

Birthday: 6/23/93

Current City: Cincinnati, Ohio

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Home Ski Resort: Perfect North Slopes, IN

Sponsors: Elan, Dalbello, Monster, Giro, DNA, Perfect North Slopes

 

The Resume: Chris Laker – Season Edit 2009-10

Can you briefly describe Perfect North Slopes for those who aren’t familiar with the resort? With you growing up at a ski resort that’s a little off the beaten path, has it helped to shape your skiing?

Well Perfect North Slopes is the best ski area around Ohio and Indiana. To me it’s the greatest place to go skiing at. All my friends and everyone in the park just have a great time. The vibe down at Perfect North is awesome. Being from a small resort helped me out a ton. The park is really small but they do a great job with what they have to work with. The park laps are super short so we can just keep lapping and lapping all day. I think its made me work a little bit harder since the jumps aren’t super big, so I had to learn all my doubles on a fairly small jump.

Given your home resort, which do you prefer: day skiing or night skiing?

I would say I prefer night skiing. The snow hardens up so it makes the jumps easier to clear, also it’s way less crowded so you don’t have to deal with any long lift lines.

I see that you were a diver? Some of freestyle skiing’s top athletes such as Simon Dumont had gymnast backgrounds – how has this helped your skiing?

I have basically dived all my life. It helped me out a ton by teaching me how to flip/spin in the air. Once I got into high school I basically quit diving and decided I wanted to focus more on skiing.

How did you link up with Elan and your current sponsors?

All my sponsors come from all the work my dad does by finding information about them and going out and talking to them. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am at today. He has helped steer me in the right direction.

Take us through your 2009-10 season. What were some highlights for you? Did you take any trips?

One of my highlights of this season was learning more doubles but learning them the correct way with grabs and what not. I didn’t have such a good contest season this year but I was still pretty happy with myself. I ended my season in a big way when I got 4th at the NZ Open Slopestyle event. I did the best slopestyle run of my life there, so I am super stoked to do it at all the major events this winter coming up.

Who did you film with this year? I heard you were going to possibly film with Rage before they decided not to make a movie this year?

I wasn’t able to film with any major film companies this year; I was pretty bummed about that. I planned on filming with Rage but they ended up not making a movie this year. I did film with a local group called Jibulant Productions; everyone should look up their new movie called Highlights! Hopefully I will be able to do some more filming this coming winter.

During Winter 2009-10 you got 3rd place at the Mt. Snow Open, did you compete in any other contests?

I was pretty happy about picking up 3rd at Mount Snow since I didn’t have such a good contest season before that. I did try and qualify for the Winter Dew Tour and did the Aspen Open as well.

You made the Level 1 Superunknown finals – tell us about filming for that and how that all came together?

It was a really late decision so I wasn’t able to get in as much filming as I would have liked to. I basically filmed the whole edit in one day. Then the video got edited the night before they had to be submitted. I thought it turned out really well though. I just wanted to show [Josh] Berman what I could do, and try to impress him.

What do you think about the Midwest/mid-Atlantic’s rise as a skiing hotbed? With guys like Cody Ling, Willie Borm, Tom Wallisch, Mike Hornbeck, and others coming out of there, do you think the talent gap is closing?

People don’t realize how much talent actually comes out of the Midwest. Cody Ling absolutely kills it. This summer I was able to spend a week up at Ohio Dreams (pictured right) with him, which was super tight. We had such a sick week of bouncing on their new trampolines and the new water ramps they put up.

Describe your training regime? Do you hit the gym much? Trampolines? How does it compare during the winter and the summer?

I haven’t worked out much (laughs) but I do plan on starting soon. I train all the time on the trampoline I have at home, and every Wednesday I go to a gymnastics place to jump on theirs. Once the winter comes, the only sort of training I do is on skis. I just try and go skiing as much as I possibly can, which is basically everyday.

Chris bouncing on the trampoline at his house:

 

Luda-CHRIS Episode Tramp from Chris Laker on Vimeo.

 

Tell us about your recent New Zealand trip.

My New Zealand trip was insane! It was my first time being down there. The plane ride down there was so long but everybody had their own TV so I just watched about six movies on the way down. It was also really hard to get used to the time zone down there.

You competed in the NZ Open and got 4th in slopestyle. Tell us about your run and what you were thinking leading up to that contest? How did it feel to finish alongside some of skiing’s household names such as Bobby Brown and Russ Henshaw?

Getting 4th place next to Bobby and Russ was super cool! My run consisted of a right side cork 900 into switch left double cork 900 and to finish off the run I did a left side double cork 1260. Before doing the run I just told myself to stop thinking about it and just do it. I knew I had it in me but it was pretty scary to actually do it. That’s going to be the new thing I am going to tell myself before competitions is just do it.

Did you compete in any other contests down there? FIS Junior Worlds?

Nope, NZ Open was the only thing I competed in.

What are your plans for the Northern Hemisphere winter 2010-11? Are you staying in Ohio?

My plans for this season are to train hard and hopefully qualify for all of the Dew Tour stops this year. That’s really my main goal. I will be staying in Ohio to finish up my last year of high school. I still will be doing a lot of traveling around and doing all the major competitions.

Working on any new tricks you’d care to share?

Lately I have been just working on right side double corks on the trampoline.

What were your thoughts on the arrival of triples to the freestyle ski world? Would you want to try one given the right jump?

I guess they’re pretty cool but there not something I am really interested in trying right now. Maybe in the future though if I am feeling up to it.

If you could build a prototypical/fantasy skier using current pros/ams, how would you do it?

Halfpipe: Joss Christensen
Urban: Mike Hornbeck
Park: Bobby Brown
Big-Mountain: Candide Thovex

What was your scariest moment while on skis?

So far my scariest moment on skis was when I was in Park City, Utah, hitting an urban rail with a few friends. I messed up doing a switch up on the rail and I ended up hitting the rail with my face. I just remember laying there screaming for help. I could feel in my mouth that I was missing two of my front teeth. I was supposed to go to Japan the next day but I had to cancel that because I had like a million doctors visits I had to go to for my teeth.  

What’s some of your favorite things to do outside of skiing?

My new favorite hobby is skateboarding. I decided to build a mini ramp in my backyard with the help of a few friends. It’s such a sick ramp, I am basically on it everyday. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and girlfriend.

Do you listen to music while you ski?

I do not listen to music while skiing. I would rather talk to the people I am skiing with. If I put in music, I feel like I am blocking them out.

Any shout-outs to wrap the interview?

I would like to give a shout-out to my mom and dad. They have been such a big help. Also all of my sponsors! Thanks for everything you guys do. All of my friends and my girlfriend! THANKS!!

 

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